Minutes from the September 2002

CRS meeting:

Total attendance: 16

The meeting started by watching 1/2 hour of the 2002 Trinity College Home Fire Fighting Contest.

Scott then did his usual introductions.

Since this was the September meeting, everyone voted for the president and secretary/treasurer. The results where the same as last year with Scott as president and Walter as secretary/treasurer.

Jake then talked about the new supplement to Nuts and Volts magazine. He also showed everyone Bill Reuhl's article in this magazine entitled "Easier Robotics: Build the Easybot."

Jake showed everyone a really great book that he recently bought called "Practical Electronics for the Inventors" by Paul Scherz.

"Line following tiles" (brought in by Jake) were then discussed. These are regular floor tiles (white) with black electrical tape on them. The tape was straight on one side and curved on the other, so you could put these tiles together to easily create a line following track for a robot. These tiles where given to Jake by someone from California last April. Looks like we'll have some cool line-following mazes for the bots this year.

The "Junkyard wars" competition was then brought up again, and Jake said that he would put together a box of parts that participants can use to build a robot. This should be ready by next month.

Les then sugested a new contest for next month. This is a dead reckoning contest with 4 modes. In the first mode, the robot must move 3 feet forward. In the next one, the robot must move 2 feet forward and 1 foot to the left. The third mode is the same as the second except that the turn is to the right instead of the left. In the last mode the robot is to move 2 feet in all directions (a square). The robot must complete these modes in sequence, and the objective is accuracy and not time (time doesn't matter).

Jim then brought in a demonstration of his new Lego RCX 2.0. The robot would react to different touch sensors (for example if you touched one of his bump sensors, the robot would shake it's head). Good work Jim!

Marc W. then demonstrated his Lego brick organizer. It had a large conveyor belt on which you would place a Lego brick (white, black, or blue) and the RCX would detect which color the brick was and push it into the appropriate container. Very nice work!

A member gave everyone the following URL:


That will take you to a web site describing several home made Lego sensors.

A demonstration on how to use Oscilloscopes was then given by Jake. He showed everyone sine, square, and triangle waves. He also showed how to measure these waves. This prompted some friendly competition in generating Lissajous figures. Marc won that one!

Then, Marc W. attached his Lego RCX input to the Oscilloscope to show how the RCX handled the sensors with only two wires. It was neat to see how the RCX handled the input.

The meeting adjourned around 3:00pm